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No Better Time


It remains a tough time for leadership. The improvement of the economy is slower than most would like. The pressure on you to make bottom line goals is even greater than it has ever been. You are making do with fewer resources. You want your employees to give more at the same time that everyone is asking for more from you.

In the stress of making bottom line goals, you may be missing an opportunity to achieve more than you have. You have a role to play in these tough times that involves taking action to create something meaningful for your organizations, your staff, and yourself. In other words, there is an opportunity here that you may not be taking.

The opportunity before you is to engage others individually and collectively in creating and sustaining strong, healthy workplace relationships, and more specifically, for becoming as intentional about building those relationships as you are about making your bottom line organizational goals. There is no longer any doubt that good workplace relationships are directly connected to the bottom line.

While you are working so hard at making those financial goals, have you forgotten about the relationships you need to start, build, fix, or sustain? There is no better time to strategize the actions you need to take assure the great relationships in your organization that will assist you in achieving those goals now and always.

As a leader, you are being watched and imitated (hopefully in a good way). The relationship-building you do today will blossom into the relationship building your followers do tomorrow. Some thoughts about what you can do to make relationship-building at work a priority:

Make building and sustaining high-quality relationships a priority: What will it take to put “building relationships” at the top of your “to-do” list? What lower priority items can wait or drop off your list in order for you to make the time to reach out to others?

Block out time in your schedule that is dedicated to building and repairing relationships with your stakeholders: Who do you need to coach? Who do you need to ask forgiveness from? Who do you need to include in your thinking or your work? Who needs to be listened to?

Learn more and understand more about others: What can you ask others that will provide you with a deeper understanding of individual motivations? What shared interests can you learn about that you can combine to catalyze innovation for your organization?

Relate your workplace vision and strategies back to “we”: How can you speak in such a way that demonstrates how the vision and mission is achieved by all? What words can you use that will inspire others to achieve the vision together?

Sure, I know that there are forces in the complex world we live in that are beyond our reach to impact. But I also know that standing still and waiting for things to get better is unproductive. There has never been a better time to take the opportunity to build relationships in order to be ready to handle all the good things that come your way when things get better.

What’s the first step you are willing to take?



2 Responses to “No Better Time”

  • Eleonor Moore:

    My employer is actively working to create cross-communication and cross-functional thinking through “Stewardship”. An enterprise business model was developed that takes in all the processes across all the business areas. Processes are categorized by a Business Cycle (end to end business process) which are “owned” by a majority of non-financial senior leaders. The CFO owns a couple. The ultimate goal is for auditable financial statements (govt employer), but the message is that most processes are non-financial in nature and it is everyone’s joh to get us to auditable financial statements. Everyone needs to understand that every action they take impacts us financially. The financial people can’t be expected to fix it in the end.

  • Eleonor,

    I’m so glad to hear that. I think the government often supports cutting-edge programs within their own organizations like this that we don’t always hear about. Thanks for sharing this one.

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Mary Jo Asmus
Mary Jo
A former executive in a Fortune 100 company, I own and operate a leadership solutions firm called Aspire Collaborative Services. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. I am married, have two daughters, and a dog named Edgar the Leadership Pug who exemplifies the importance of relationships to great leadership.
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